National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-390, Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Calculations, 2007

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This course is designed to introduce fire behavior calculations by manual methods, using nomograms and the Fireline Handbook Appendix B: Fire Behavior, PMS 410-2. Students gain an understanding of the determinants of fire behavior though studying inputs (weather, slope, fuels, and fuel moisture). Students also learn how to interpret fire behavior outputs, documentation processes, and fire behavior briefing components.


  • List the assumptions, limitations, and appropriate uses of fire behavior prediction models.
  • Describe how environmental factors and processes affect fire behavior predictions and safety.
  • Define and interpret fire behavior prediction model inputs.
  • Calculate fire behavior outputs using available fire behavior processors.
  • Interpret, communicate, apply, and document wildland fire behavior and weather information.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as Division/Group Supervisor (DIVS), Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 2 (RXB2), or Incident Commander Type 3 (ICT3). 

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • Intermediate S-290, Wildland Fire Behavior.
  • Qualified as any single resource boss.
  • Satisfactory completion of pre-selection assessment and pre-course work.

Session Offerings

Sessions of this course may be available in the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP). Enrollment requires an account. Log on as a guest to search for session offerings of this course and to view other public content. To search for a specific course, use the FIND LEARNING menu at the top of the page, then select UPCOMING COURSES. To view Geographic Area training schedules, select the specific GEOGRAPHIC AREA information using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Contact your local Training Officer for more information about local course sessions.



S-390 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Component Time
Pre-course work 8-10
Pre-selection assessment 2
Online training N/A
Instructor-led training 32
Total Hours 42-44

Course Level

Regional, state, or area

Minimum Instructor Qualifications

Lead instructor must have completed S-490, Advanced Fire Behavior Calculations and be a qualified Division/Group supervisor (DIVS), Incident Commander Type 3 (ICT3), or Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 1 (RXB1); recommend the lead instructor be a qualified Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN).

Unit instructors must be qualified as Strike Team Leader (STCR, STEQ, STEN), Task Force Leader (TFLD), or Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 2 (RXB2).

A Meteorologist is highly recommended to instruct the weather sections of this course.

See NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1, Instructor Standards for more information.

Certification Date:


Previous Certification Dates:

  • 2006-09
  • 1994-07
  • 1993-10


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